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Ibeju-Lekki Communities Prepare to Benefit from Industrial Growth
Ibeju-Lekki Communities Prepare to Benefit from Industrial Growth
Every community in Ibeju-Lekki, recently came together and collectively decided to put their differences and clashing interests aside, to enable the area benefit from the investments it’s getting as the new commercial hub in Lagos state.
Ibeju-Lekki is experiencing large scale growth, and it would be unwise of the indigenes to allow their differences prevent them from using this opportunity to a great advantage. With this, over 150 towns and villages have agreed to work together in unification to take advantage of the change being witnessed, for the overall benefit of the people, and to safeguard their children’s future.
In attendance of the meeting where these deliberations were made were, Onibeju of Ibeju Oba Rafiu Olusegun Salami; the Onilekki of Lekki, Oba Olumuyiwa Ogunbekun; the Onise of Ise Land, HRM Oba Abdul-Ganiu Adebowale Adegbesan; the Onimedu of Orimedu, Oba Hamzat Atiku; the Onitedo of Itedo, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro and others.
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Also at the event were civil servants, political figures and trade union members.
The event was organized by the President and Founder of Ibeju-Lekki Development Foundation, Ademuyiwa Oniwonlu.
Oniwonlu, who initiated the topic of discussions at the summit, said the new commercial hub of Lagos State is shifting and heading towards the area.
He asked them to get ready, stating it would be in the interest of the community to put their political, tribal, and social differences aside. “It is time to rally round and stand together as a people from a common-front and speak with one voice for the greatness of our community.
“We can only say that we have made adequate use of all these developments when the lives of our people are positively affected. When every man, woman and child can confidently say ‘I am proud to be an indigene of Ibeju-Lekki’.
“It is time to sound the trumpet calling all our children, students, artisans, gifted, talented, boys, girls, men, women, young, old, skilled, semi-skilled, non-skilled, home and abroad to come together and be a part of this remarkable time in our history.
“It is time to stand up and be counted as we take this giant step towards the greatness of Ibeju-Lekki. It is time,” Oniwonlu said.
According to him, Ibeju-Lekki is a “uniquely blessed community in Lagos State”.
“Nature has endowed us with the very best of locations as we are proudly the custodian of beautiful lagoon fronts and gorgeous ocean fronts. Our beaches are second to none as they attract a massive amount of tourism year-in year-out. Many tourists have given good testimonies of our several relaxation centers and nice resorts.
“Our people are most welcoming, peace-loving and friendly. This accounts for the many years of peaceful and harmonious co-existence between indigenes and non-indigenes within our communities. A great number of people from home and abroad have identified this attribute and are pouring into our communities to live, work and settle in for the longer term.
“Our tradition institutions comprising of the Obas, the Baales, council of chiefs and community leaders have done very well in maintaining harmony among our people. They have been instrumental in setting all disputes within our communities and among our people,” Oniwolu said.
While speaking, he emphasized that, change had finally arrived at Ibeju-Lekki and the only choice they had was to embrace it with open arms, and make the best of it, for the sake of their future and the generations yet unborn.
“Ibeju-Lekki is now under the spotlight of development and the whole world is watching and watching us very closely. A lot of people around the nation are beginning to wonder and asking the question: what will the people of Ibeju-Lekki make of this great development?” he said.
Bolaji Isiaka who is a member of the foundation’s Board of Trustees, and also an operator in the oil and gas industry, said the areas must prepare themselves in advance for the effects of development it is attracting.
He also included that, the communities must learn from the experience of the people of Niger Delta, so that industrial growth would turn to a blessing for the people and investors in the area, stating that the ability of a community to attract investment is the catalyst to any feasible development.
In his words, Isiaka said: “The Ibeju–Lekki Development Foundation will do all units capacity to ensure that the enabling and peaceful environment is place to attract investors from far and near. We will further see to it that all existing investors already on ground and operating within our local community receive our support and co-operation to the fullest such that they will be willing to increase their level of investment in our community.”
Oba Adegbesan, spoke on behalf of the monarchs and prayed that God would support the foundation and help them bring the desired, and expected change and development they were waiting for.
He urged unity of purpose among the people.
Other stakeholders at the event also pleaded with the monarchs and members of the foundation to ensure that they have the interest of the community and its people at heart.
They also warned the members of the foundation and the monarchs not to compromise on the interest of the people in any dealing with government and any investors.
After the deliberations, the people agreed that investors would sign agreements with the communities stating what they can do to impact the communities, the people, their lifestyle especially on the amenities they need like drainage network, portable drinking water, and good road networks.
They also agreed that suitable qualified individuals will gain from life-changing training schemes and programs that will make them marketable and suitable in the job changing market.
Oniwolu, who read other areas of the deliberation, said: “This development program will cut across all levels from unskilled, semi-skilled training and job placements,” the meeting said.
“The health of our people is the wealth of our community so, therefore, a great attention will be given to our existing primary health care centers and clinics across Ibeju-Lekki. The foundation will make every effort to provide equipment and encourage health care personnel to dutifully serve our people. Great steps will also be taken to establishment basic healthcare clinics where they do not exit.
“The qualitative education of our children and wards will not be compromised in any form or manner.
“Provision of qualified teachers and conducive learning environment is cardinal to achieving this goal and therefore will be pursued at the relevant quarters. Scholarship schemes will be made available but will be tailored towards developing our youth in the direction that will give them the best opportunities in the immediate job market and also facilitate the rapid development of our communities.
“Ibeju-Lekki is blessed with a rich heritage, which includes awesome ocean and lagoon fronts. These natural endowments will receive attention and protection such that an excellent preservation level is maintained together with a high level of hospitality from our people to attract visitors from home and abroad.”
However, the origin of Ibeju Lekki Local Government is traced back to 1990 during the local government creation exercise by the then head of state of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. It was one of the four local governments created in Lagos State and one of the 289 created in Nigeria that year.
Originally, the seat of the Ibeju Lekki Local Government was originally at Akodo before the recent Lekki Local Council Development Area was carved out, which made them have to move the seat of the government to the present location at Igando Oloja.
In Ibeju Lekki presently, there are different estates, gate residential developments, areas allocated for free trade, agricultural farmlands, an airport and a seaport under construction. The proposed land use master plan for Lekki describes the Peninsula as a “Blue-Green Environment City”, which is expected to accommodate over 3.4 million residents and an additional non-residential population of at least 1.9 million.